Kansas emergency service lost a superstar several years ago. His name was Bill Brubaker. Anybody who’s anybody in Kansas emergency service knew Bill. He was a Chief Officer with the City of Lawrence before retiring to take a position as a Regional Emergency Manager with the State of Kansas.
After Bill’s death, a fellow emergency manager posted a request for folks to post one word that described Bill – a way to recognize and thank him. I suppose that request was prompted by the upcoming Christmas. I would like to take that a step further.
Christmas is many things to many people. Most recognize the day with gifts, family time, and thanks for the blessings. I would like to address that last one – specifically the blessings of working with emergency service providers in Kansas, past and present.
Thank you for the selflessness. You could’ve used your talent in a field that would’ve brought you more self wealth, but instead you chose this one – one that has brought well being to others including myself. You made sure that I went home at the end of my shift.
Thank you for the bravery. Trench cave-ins, swift waters, vehicle accidents, grain elevator falls, floods, tornados, hurricanes, fires, and hazmat spills. For one to say they never experienced fear is being dishonest or plain stupid. The basic framework of bravery is intrinsic, but the depth of the quality is learned. Everyone needs a role model. Your bravery developed and reinforced my bravery.
Thank you for the courage. It’s a close cousin to bravery, but one that crosses over to other areas. You stood up for what was right even when it wasn’t a popular stand. At times your actions may have even hurt your career. When I think of your courage I gently shake my head with amazement and smile.
Thank you for the inspiration. You taught me that just about anything could be done. You showed me what it looked like and what it felt like to perform a life saving feat. You kept going when it hurt – both physically and mentally. You made me want to be like you.
Thank you for the love. Love isn’t something most emergency workers discuss. It isn’t easy to define, but there’s nothing more important. You can’t do what we do in emergency service without caring a lot, without loving, those you do it with. I love you all – past and present.
Have a wonderful Christmas.